Darth Maul Joins the Galactic Firearm Association
By Jumbo the Hutt
The characters and settings of the Star Wars universe are the creation and property of George Lucas, Lucasfilm, Ltd., and the armada of attorneys at their command. The following story is merely a parody, a fantasy, and written for no profit whatsoever, so please don't sue me, OK guys? I have only a wife and a dog, and you want neither.
Siubhan stepping in here with her own disclaimer. This story is probably one of the most pointed pieces in the entire Sith Academy arsenal. Some people are going to be offended by it. Me, I view it as a very astute social commentary about the gun culture in the United States. If you're a huge fan of the NRA, then this piece will probably give you a heart attack. This piece also references the Columbine High School shooting (albeit under a different name), so if you don't think that's a fitting subject for social satire, don't read this piece.
The sound of an explosion jerked Maul's attention away from the pneumatically enhanced adventures of Darth Lara Croft and towards the front door of his apartment. Several things were wrong. One: the door was lying on the floor, well, on the trash on the floor of what might have been called the dining nook only by the kind of compulsive liar that passed for an apartment manager on Coruscant. Two: the door sported a gaping hole, burning at the edges and giving off the wretched odor of cheap polymers, freshly blasted. Three: an antiquated but spry-looking bastard with a smoking BlasTech DL-29 in his right hand was waving a second bastard into his apartment, the kind of sadistic bastard that could only be Maul's Master, the Dark Lord of the Sith, Senator from Naboo, and unrepentant ass-chaser Palpatine (Sidious to those unfortunate enough to be his apprentice).
"Maul! Glad to find you home! Come meet a dear friend of mine, Mr. Harleton Cheston, director and chief lobbyist for the Galactic Firearms Association. Mr. Cheston, meet my slovenly and despicable excuse for an aide, Darth Maul."
"Charming, sir! Just charming! Ahh, yes, I remember my days as a congressional aide, living in filth, renting whores by the hour, rooms by the day, and bending over for every species of politician just to get ahead. Those were the days, yep! But now politicians bend over for me because I've got the cash and the votes to make a fuckin' difference, by damn. Please to meetcha, son. Put 'er there."
Maul stared dumbfounded at the man's extended hand, the urge to strike down his master and this annoying jackass superceded only by his sheer astonishment at their appearance. Cheston wore expensive jeans, expensive boots, and a cheap T-shirt that said, "The government can have my blaster when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers." Sidious was in his usual senatorial drag, but he also was wearing pointy Bantha-hide boots, a huge brass belt-buckle, and on his lapel an enormous black and white button bearing the same slogan. Both wore garish party hats that said, "Palpatine for Chancellor," and both looked like they had had way too much to drink: the eyes of Sidious in particular gleamed with the lusty urge to cruelty that drink always brought on. Maul blinked once, looked at Cheston's outstretched hand, and thought: Hmm. Shake it or chop the sucker off? He was reaching for his lightsaber when Sidious intervened.
"Come, Maul, be civil. Mr. Cheston was merely demonstrating the virtues of the latest line of BlasTech sidearms for my benefit. Very effective, eh?"
Maul's eyes glazed over as his master's mind-whammy struck. "Yes, my Master."
"Now, Mr. Cheston, I want you to have a look at my aide here. Note the angry horns, the bad teeth, and the extravagant tattoo. Note too the squalor and general degradation of his condition. Wouldn't he be perfect for the series of political ads the GFA wants to run for the election this fall? I think he captures that look of dangerous, hardened criminality that we both want to keep from disturbing decent, hardworking voters and gun-owners. I mean, if you saw a Zabrakian like this one running across your lawn, wouldn't you shoot it, just on principle?"
"Damn straight Senator," Cheston replied. "Damn straight. Not that I have anything against Zabrakians, it takes all kinds, and some of my best friends are Zabrakians but I think you make a fine argument, and I think you should let me buy you another case of Corellian whiskey and another carload of hookers out of sheer gratitude, any species you want. Whaddya say, boy, are you in? Yes, I can tell by that feral look in your eyes that you're in all the way, a real player by damn, not one of those sissy liberal types. Look forward to seeing you at the convention tomorrow, boy. Glad to meetcha."
"That's right Maul, I'll need to see you at the Coruscant Convention Center at noon sharp tomorrow," Sidious said. "Dress well and bring your blaster. I want you to make a good impression." You think you hate this guy now? Just wait!
"Yes, my Master."
"My Master!" Cheston chortled. "You got this one trained good, Senator! Hoo boy, wish I had me a secretary like that! See you later, son! Hoo boy!"
With that, the pair of partiers breezed out of his apartment and left Maul in stunned silence. He looked at his apprentice, who was curling up in the warm hole in his door. It's one AM on Sunday morning. I don't own a blaster. Where the hell am I going to get one by noon?
His apprentice licked her crotch and sent a mental shrug in reply. Rent yourself on the streetcorner in exchange for a gun, or go to Wal-Mart.
The life of a Sith apprentice was just full of hard choices.
When his alarm woke him at eight, Maul realized that not only did he need a gun, he also required clean clothes for whatever idiocy his Master had planned. His cloak would need at least two hours of back-breaking scrubbing to get rid of several month's worth of layered grime, and there was only one person up for the job: his neighbor, that twit padawan with the remarkably firm buttocks, charming smile, and.... Snap yourself out of it, Maul! He shook his head to clear it and knocked on Obi-Wan's door. No response.
Hmm. Maul placed his ear against the door and heard the distant but persistent thud, thud, thud of Obi-Wan's headboard bouncing off the wall. It was a sound that held for Maul a kind of alluring disgust. But he had no time for reminiscing now. He ignited his lightsaber and with a Sithly "Yeaaarrrgghh!" cut the door from its hinges. He stomped into Kenobi's bedroom to find the padawan and his master performing their morning "exercises."
No matter. Maul grabbed Qui Gon by his long sissy hair and jerked him off his apprentice. With a Sithly roar of rage he pounded the Jedi Master against the wall a couple of times until he collapsed, unconscious. Then he turned to Obi-Wan: "Mind if I cut in?"
"Don't complain. You looked bored anyway."
Time for Wal-Mart. He had left Kenobi locked in his bathroom, the tub full of water and soap and his Sith's cloak, and now it was time for Maul to buy a gun. It would be a simple matter: he would walk up to the gun counter and mind-whammy the clerk. No muss, no fuss.
"Help you I can, young Sith. What need you today, hmmm?"
"No! Go away! I want someone else to help me," Maul said. An irritating green creature was perched on top of the glass gun display counter, polishing a long wide-bore hunting rifle--probably for Rancor or Trydarian Bandicoot--by walking up and down the length of the barrel with lavender felt slippers. He was wearing a flowered muumuu and a shiny blue badge that said, "Welcome to Wal-Mart: My Name is Yoda."
"Isn't there someone else who can help me?" Maul hissed. "A nice pimply teenager with a weak mind, maybe? Besides, I thought you worked in Lawn & Garden."
Unfortunately Yoda was immune to Maul's mind-whammy.
"No, could not sell enough riding mowers, so transferred my ass was. Pimply untrained teenagers, work cash registers they do. Cannot even count change. Going to hell is today's youth. So. Tell me, why a blaster need you? Clumsy and random they are, compared to your lightsaber, hmm?" Was it Maul's imagination or was this stunted green troll flirting with him? "Big gun you already have, I bet. Hmm?" Oh, shit.
Maul shuddered. "There is a GFA convention I must attend. Apparently they don't let you in unless you're armed."
Yoda's eyes opened wide. "The Galactic Firearm Association? Ugh, a domain of low-class redneck hooliganism it is. In there you must go? Envy you I do not."
"It was not my idea."
"Ahhh, a cruel master you have, young Sith, and ambitious. You know..." Yoda waddled forward and ran a green claw down Maul's cheek. "If to the Light Side of the Force you turned, a much nicer master would I be, hmmm?"
Only with an immense effort born of rage and, frankly, disgust, could Maul tear himself away from the short Jedi. Damn! That little green bastard's whammy is almost as strong as my Master's! But Maul's rage was well-focused this morning, so he pulled his lips back from his filthy teeth and snarled, "I think not."
The grizzled clerk sighed and dropped his hand. "Oh well. Blaster I sell you, then. What kind need you? Pistol? Rifle? Semi-automatic instrument of urban destruction, home defense, and big game hunting? All kinds of weapons, low low prices I have. And just the thing for you, I think, is this..." Yoda reached under his desk and pulled out The Gun.
If I ever decide to give up chopping yahoos into little pieces with my lightsaber, Maul thought, then that is the blaster for me. It was four feet long, all black, with a thick stock and two handles. The power pack was illegally oversized and the wicked barrel thick enough to disperse a lot of heat. It was an epiphany. And it had a tag that read, "2,000 credits."
"I can't afford that," Maul said. "Show me something smaller." Oh, but it's beautiful. I still have a couple of hours. If I work fast I could sell my body three, four times at a biker bar, kill the customers and take their wallets, maybe roll some drunks....
The green runt wasn't listening. "Yes, yes, the gun for you this is. I have foreseen it. A BFG 9000 it is. Try it out, please. Special sale price for Sith Lords we have, only 1,700 credits. Your destiny it is, hmm?"
And it was. As Maul cradled the enormous weapon in his arms and pointed it at a pimply teenaged Rodian Rodianning a cash register, he was seduced by the low hum of the power supply; by the way the trigger seemed to call to his finger; by the way the telescoping sight automatically ranged the cashier's head and blinked red as if to say, "Yeah, baby, do it!"; by the way the cashier's head dissolved in a scarlet blossom of energy at the exact moment he was trying in vain and for the last time to make change; by the way customers ran screaming in terror for the exits....
"Ehh, a long time that one have I watched. Not once could he count change," Yoda said. "It happens, poodoo does. Hair trigger this gun has, yes? Yours to take home it is, on two conditions: cash up front, and tell the police I sold it to you, please do not."
"I can give you two-hundred now, plus fifteen after the convention."
"Young Sith, a big-ass blaster like this, big-ass money it costs. Unless," Yoda, batting his eyes, was rubbing his floppy ears against Maul's broad chest, "an agreement we reach, hmm?" Maul shuddered, but his lust for the weapon left him momentarily defenseless against the wrinkled Jedi's power.
"Very well," Maul grunted. After all, for a true Sith, nothing was too disgusting, too demeaning, or too horrifying so long as it let one achieve one's goal. At least, that's what Sidious always said. "But you'll have to throw in a new pair of Ray-Bans, like Will Smith wears."
"A deal it is, then."
"And a new door."
"Push it you do, but if you push well...I'll think about it."
That is one nasty little Jedi freak, Maul thought as he wove in and out of traffic to get back to his apartment. A solid-core door trailed on a rope behind his SithCycle 2000, and every time he turned a corner the door took out nearby vehicles.
He only had half an hour until the convention. But with his new shades and the most incredible blaster he had ever seen perched over one shoulder, he was flying fast, looking good, and blowing the hell out of tailgaters and SUV's. It might be a good day after all.
"Kenobi! My cloak! What have you done?!" The padawan was backed into the corner of his bathroom, lower lip trembling as he cowered in the face of Maul's rage and rampant Zabrakian manliness.
"I washed it just like you said," Obi-Wan whimpered. "OK, I thought some fabric softener and scented soap would be a nice touch, but otherwise it's just like new. I don't know how I'm going to get this ring out of my tub."
"Grrrrrr," Maul growled. "I would strike you down for your swishy impudence, but I've an appointment to meet. I'll punish you later."
"Really?" Obi-Wan's eyes brightened.
"No, not really," Maul sneered. He spun on his heel and ran headlong into a groggy Qui-Gon Jinn.
"What...happened...?" the Jedi was mumbling.
Maul gave him a vicious headbutt and stepped over his limp body. If he was late, Sidious would make Yoda's attentions seem desirable by comparison.
Maul and Sidious were waiting backstage in the convention hall while Harleton Cheston rallied the troops, a huge hall packed with blaster-toting imbeciles. "Observe, my young apprentice, how easily these weak minds are swayed, even by one with no knowledge of the Force," Sidious said. "They are the perfect tools for my plan to conquer the galaxy."
Cheers and the sound of occasional blaster fire floated backstage. The sound system was blasting some annoying ditty with an endless refrain, "God Bless the GFA."
Maul was skeptical. "Forgive me, Master, but they seem to be too, how shall I put it, stupid for such a glorious task. Why must we have anything to do with such cretins?"
Sidious scowled. "You have so much to learn, apprentice. Evil is not always glamorous. The Dark Side feeds on hatred and rage, but it also attracts those made impotent by fear, like the fools in that chamber. Their brains recoil at the challenges of a complicated world, so instead of thinking they buy weapons and hope to shoot their problems away."
"I understand, my Master, but why not just use them for lightsaber practice?"
Sidious leered and rubbed his hands together. "Because I need their votes and their campaign contributions."
"Ahh, it is becoming clearer, my Master. But why..."
"No! There is no why! Just do what I say. The GFA is going to make a series of campaign commercials designed to play on the fears of the suburban voter. They will suggest that Valorum's administration is letting rapists and murderers run free in the streets in order to appease the liberal end of his constituency, and they will suggest that the freedom to own blasters is the only way the common voter can hope to be safe. You, dear Maul, will enact and embody their fears. You will be the most terrifying, dreadful thing they can imagine, and in response to that fear they will vote against any form of gun control. Moreover, they will work tirelessly to put me into the highest office in the galaxy. You'll be the next Willie Horton, Maul."
Sidious rolled his eyes. "Never mind. Just be as ferocious as you can. I want you to make them wet their pants and thank you for it."
"Yes, my Master." Sometimes this job is just plain fucking weird.
I heard that.
Harleton Cheston finished his speech and trotted backstage. The crowd was screaming, "GFA! GFA! GFA!" His face poured down sweat and glowed with the energy that only comes from a sleepless weekend fueled by alcohol and schmoozing, punctuated by dalliances with the most limber prostitutes the galaxy had to offer. "The crowd's ready for you, gentlemen. Do you your worst. But first, I need to see your credentials. As you know, you must be armed in order to address a GFA convention."
Palpatine reached under his voluminous robes and pulled out a dainty, silver-plated femme-looking pistol that looked about powerful enough to stop a charging hamster.
"Well, that ain't much," Cheston said, "But seeing as you're a gentleman, I guess that will do. So, how about you, boy...Holy Shit!"
In a single deft move, Maul had whipped the BFG 9000 out from under his peach-scented cloak, and Harleton Cheston was clearly taken by surprise. "Sweet damn, my boy, that's not a firearm, that's an artillery piece! It's magnificent! How on earth did you get such a thing?"
"I prostituted my body and my dignity to a sexually deviant long-eared green midget."
"Well, whatever works for you, that's what I always say. Are you ready, Senator? Let's go. And remember, Maul, I want you to scare the shit out of these people. They are gonna love you! Give it everything you've got. Hoo, boy!"
As Cheston and Palpatine strolled onstage, greeted by a thundering crescendo of applause, Maul stood in the wings and wondered just what he was supposed to say to this mob of trigger-happy ingrates. How the hell was he supposed to scare these people when they all knew it was just an act?
Unless it's not just an act, he mused. And then an evil smirk began to crawl up Darth Maul's face.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Gastropods and Gorphalia," Palpatine began. "I want to take a moment as we close out your wonderful convention to address some matters of grave import. I want to speak of a tragedy that has deeply touched all of us who consider ourselves servants of this great Republic. As you know, several weeks ago some students armed with blasters and thermal detonators killed several dozen of their peers in a rampage at Coruscant High School. Now, a lot people have tried to affix blame for this incident in a lot of ways. Some people even blame the widespread and mostly unregulated distribution of firearms to the public. However, as we in this room know: blasters don't kill people, people kill people."
The audience clapped enthusiastically.
"So we all understand," the Senator continued, "That the chief reasons behind this tragedy can indubitably be linked to drugs, sex, popular culture, and the failure of the current administration to post armed guards in every classroom of the Republic, guards armed not only with blasters but with the authority to make sure that only the morals you and I share are taught to the children of all our noble species."
More applause, including some scattered cries of "Palpatine for Chancellor!"
"So I would like for you to think about the following. Despite the sadness we all feel regarding the recent tragedy, we ought to pause and take some numbers into account. Cold, hard facts. We all know that three-quarters of young people today are into deviant, wild, unnatural and premarital sex..."
And you've done your best to be there wherever and whenever it happens, thought Maul.
"...and that most of them are using drugs and that nearly all of them have absolutely no respect for authority."
Sound like anyone I know, my Master? But no one in the crowd noticed Maul's sardonic smirk; they were fully into the speech.
"So if you think about it, by the numbers, the recent tragedy at Coruscant High is actually a net bonus to society, since at least three quarters of those killed would have turned out to be liberal-hippie welfare-junkie gun-control freaks anyway! Thank the Republic for blasters, thank the GFA for keeping them legal, and I thank you for your vote in the upcoming election! A vote for me is a vote for law and order!"
Now the crowd was going absolutely nuts; some were even firing their weapons into the ceiling while screaming Palpatine's name. Maul could only shake his head in admiration, wondering, How the hell am I supposed to follow that? You are a most Evil master, my Master!
Palpatine had to wait several minutes until the crowd was quiet enough for him to resume speaking. And when he did, it was to speak of his apprentice. "Now, as you all know, the GFA is planning a public relations campaign to show why good citizens like yourselves need the unfettered right to keep firearms in your homes and on your persons at all times. By fortuitous circumstance, I happen to know a young Zabrakian so debased in nature, so vile in appearance, and so unwholesome in his personal habits that he is the perfect exemplar of the kind of vile scum that you and I know we ought to be allowed to shoot on sight. What's more, he has agreed to help us make a series of paid political advertisements that will demonstrate to the voters of this Republic why the right to keep and bear blasters must never be infringed. Therefore, and without further ado, allow me to introduce the next Willie Horton, the epitome of evil, the reason nobody without a weapon should leave his front porch, and the reason you all own guns in the first place, my apprentice and Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Maul!! Give him a hand, people!"
Maul pulled his hood down low to cover his face and strode purposefully, silently, to the microphone. As he waited for the cheers to die down, he had to admit to himself that the unthinking adulation of the masses was not the worst thing he had experienced, not by a long shot. He did not speak, however, and he did not move, until the hall was so quiet one could hear a pin drop. Then:
"Blasters don't kill people," Maul intoned into the microphone. "I kill people."
The crowd roared, and when Maul pulled out his BFG 9000 they cheered riotously, oooohing and aaaahing at the size of his gun. He threw back his hood and snarled into the mike, and the crowd clapped even harder, delighted by his garish tattoos and horns. Hmm. Not scared yet.
"I am the ultimate evil, a creature from your nightmares! Day and night I long only to feed drugs to your sons, rape your virgin daughters, murder your fathers, gratify your wives beyond their husbands' miniscule power, and spit the heads of your babies on spikes!" Technically true though it's mostly metaphorical. On the whole I'd rather be killing Jedi. But they still weren't scared, not really. The crowd was cheering and laughing as though they were watching Paul Reubens play Richard the Third. This just wouldn't do.
"Listen to me, you fools!" Maul shouted. "Your guns mean nothing to me. Arm yourselves with cannons and still I will creep into your bedrooms at night and slaughter you like gelded banthas!" He armed the BFG 9000, and its sinister whine could be heard throughout the hall. "These weapons are insignificant compared to the Dark Side of the Force!" He fired a shot into the rafters, and after a deafening explosion they suddenly found themselves convocating al fresco, the sunlight of Coruscant Prime shining down on the crowd through a gaping hole in the roof.
Wow, thought Maul. That is really cool.
But the crowd had suddenly become silent and edgy. Cheston was waving from the wings, Ease up! Ease up! Maul shot him the finger and turned to face his newly attentive audience. "You stupid, insignificant turds! Evil is bigger and more magnificent than you can possibly imagine! Do you really think your pathetic blasters can stop my rage and hatred from ripping you to shreds in a heartbeat?" The Dark Side was surging in him now; it was hard to believe how thoroughly he hated these wretched creatures that Sidious wanted as allies. Perhaps this was how Sidious perceived his apprentice? Did it matter? No.
"Hey, you alien prick!" someone shouted. "Get off the stage, you nut!"
Maul grabbed the microphone. "Who said that?"
There was a rustle of bodies, and a hole appeared in the crowd at the center of which stood one man, a pale male human, who was pointing his blaster at Maul and screaming, "What are you, some kind of wacko!? I'd be within my rights to shoot you right now!"
"Are you a lobbyist by any chance?"
"Then by all means please try."
What happened next nobody could say exactly, but everybody in attendance agreed that it was the last official act of that year's convention. The lobbyist fired, but the lunatic guest speaker had seemed to vanish, only suddenly to appear directly behind the lobbyist, ignited lightsaber in hand. A fraction of a second later the unfortunate heckler had slumped to the floor in two greasy, neatly sliced, symmetrical halves. And although the lobbyist missed his mark, he did manage to hit Harleton Cheston, burning a small circular hole through his body. (Cheston lived, however, because the only serious damage was to his liver, which he hadn't used in years anyway.) And although a number of GFA members had tried to shoot the tattooed madman, he had suddenly vanished, and so they only hit each other.
As for Palpatine, nobody had actually seen him leave. The police conducted an investigation of the incident, but by the time they got around to questioning the witnesses everyone on the guest list had received a holovid call from the Senator, and none of them remembered much except what a nice caring man he seemed to be. Finding nobody to press charges, the police closed the investigation and classified the whole thing as a hoax.
That Monday at the Jedi Council, some puzzlement was expressed when, for the first time in six hundred years, Master Yoda called in sick. The only explanation anybody could get was the muttered phrase, "How was I supposed to know Zabrakians were barbed?"
Qui-Gon Jinn was similarly reticent about explaining his two black eyes. "Training accident," was all anybody could get out of him.
At the Wal-Mart, a pimply Malastairian teenager was quickly hired to replace the unlucky Rodian. He couldn't count change, either.
Obi-Wan never did get the black ring out of his tub.
And as for Darth Maul, he decided to stick to lightsabers. He sold his gun and bought shares in Dark Side Software, confident that "Jedi Roadkill V, Darth Lara Strikes Back," would be a phenomenal hit.
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